In November 2000, Aptek Laboratories, Inc. moved to a brand new 23,000 square foot R&D/manufacturing facility located in a modern industrial center in the quiet hills of beautiful Valencia, California. Built to Aptek’s design and tight specifications for temperature, humidity, and environmental controls, this building provides Aptek with enhanced capability and size to efficiently develop and manufacture high quality products to meet the industry’s current and future demands.
Established in 1986, Aptek Laboratories provides custom formulated adhesives, coatings, encapsulants, and specialty fabricated films/substrates to highly sophisticated end users such as Boeing Satellite Systems, Raytheon Company, Northrop Grumman/Litton, Lockheed Martin, Delco, TRW, and many others. To support the requirements and technical demands of these customers, Aptek devotes a major portion of its resources for research and development, technical service, quality assurance, and state-of-the-art production equipment. Although Aptek has targeted high-tech applications as a major market thrust, this same philosophy and expertise is applied to the high-end commercial markets as well.
Customer demand for faster curing products led to the development of advanced snap-cure technology as well as state-of-the-art UV-cured systems. These production-friendly products exceeded both the handling and physical property requirements of the end users. UVIKOTE™ 7503LM-PMF (pre-mixed frozen), a UV-cured PCB coating system, not only cures in seconds and is qualified to MIL-I-46058-C, but also meets the NASA outgassing requirements per ASTM–E–595. UVIKOTE 7503LM-PMF is comparable in performance to APTEK® 2503-A/B, a superior conventionally cured polyurethane MIL-Spec conformal coating which is the material of choice for many military and space programs. Snap-cure low modulus adhesives are best represented by DIS-A-PASTE® 2310-PMF (electrically insulative) and DIS-A-PASTE 2313-PMF (electrically conductive). The extraordinary escalation of surface mount technology, with ever-increasing power demands in smaller packages, has made thermal and stress management a “hot” topic. Aptek accepted the challenge and developed a full line of thermally conductive, low modulus films and adhesives designated as DAT-A-THERM™ and DIS-A-PASTE. The DAT-A-THERM C-staged film or pad is utilized as a spacer between an SMT device and the circuit board substrate and, when bonded with a DIS-A-PASTE adhesive, the combination provides superior adhesion and thermal dissipation to difficult-to-bond surfaces such as gold and ceramics without the use of a primer.
An important development which will have industry-wide impact on resolving stress management problems is the product/technology designation “B/C/B®”. Highly sophisticated electronic assemblies have inherent mismatched CTE’s that are relieved by compliant materials, which compensate for the varying expansion rates of the assembly. Aptek’s B/C/B technology incorporates a partially cured, tack-free adhesive on both faces of a fully cured ultra-low modulus film. B/C/B is used in film form to bond a PCB to mating surfaces such as semiconductor components, metals, ceramics, etc. The assembly is cured with modest heat and pressure for a short period of time.
Custom-tuned dielectric substrates (i.e. DI-STRATES®) for space and military microwave antenna/patch radiator applications have become a specialty niche product line for Aptek. Extensive R&D efforts were expended to develop a superior dielectric substrate to meet the extremely rigid requirements of the narrow band IRIDIUM® main mission antenna program. Aptek’s substrates, with a tightly controlled custom-tuned dielectric constant and low loss tangent, were critical to the technical success and excellent performance of the main mission antenna system. Key features for space applications such as very low specific gravity (0.26), low outgassing (exceeded NASA requirements), low CTE, wide operating temperature range (-150°C to 250°C) made this the material of choice over standard Duroid® (PTFE) substrates which are heavy (specific gravity 2.6), difficult to bond to/process, and possess a non-changeable dielectric constant. Subsequent to this technical success, DI-STRATE materials have been developed, qualified and used in critical military microwave patch radiator radar antennas. For each application, Aptek has afforded the antenna designer the luxury of a custom tuned dielectric constant in the range of 1.3 – 4.0, as well as other advantages such as low weight, machinability, and easy to adhere to surfaces for copper patch bonding. Aptek is now capable of supplying substrates to various configurations/specifications with patches pre-bonded.
For more information on how Aptek's high performance polymer systems can meet your unique technical needs, please contact us.
NOTE: APTEK, B/C/B, and DIS-A-PASTE are registered trademarks of Aptek Laboratories, Inc. IRIDIUM is a registered trademark of Iridium, LLC. DUROID is a registered trademark of Rogers Corporation.